The 2022-2023 Excellence in Teaching Master’s Level Award winner is Erin Brock. Erin was nominated by Assistant Teaching Professor, Kat Green. 

“…Erin met students where they were. For example, she often took a quick survey of students’ knowledge on a topic and used the results to shape her instruction going forward. She respected their experiences and challenged students to expand their knowledge,” Greene said.  

Director of the Writing Program and Associate Professor of English, Dr. Jennifer Grouling, also nominated Erin.  

 “Erin is a well-organized teacher who scaffolds lessons well. She creates engaging assignments and in-class lessons that help students grow as writers and thinkers,” Grouling said. “In my observations of her teaching, I noted how directly relevant the lessons were to the project students were working on. Erin also articulated these connections for her students. She is a transparent teacher with strong assignment design.” 

Erin Brock

 Here is our Q and A with Erin: 

What is your teaching philosophy?  

I believe in teaching that prepares students for a world beyond the classroom while welcoming the diverse set of knowledge they bring. Regardless of the class I am teaching, or the set of students present, I work with the belief that every student has something valuable to contribute. Students have incredibly unique ways of looking at things and analyzing content, so I aim to meet them where they are, to understand them, and to guide their thoughts rather than expecting them to meet me where I am. Through introspective and compassionate education, their value can then be brought forth and utilized to help them succeed in the classroom and then build upon those skills to succeed beyond the classroom. 

What courses have you taught here at Ball State?   

 Two sections of ENG 103 and four sections of ENG 104 

 What do you enjoy most about teaching?  

 I always say that teaching is the best cup of coffee because nothing gets me more energized than working with my students! We have a lot of fun in my classroom, so the connections I make with my students and the energy they bring is what I enjoy most.  

What brought you to Ball State University?  

When applying to graduate programs, I wanted to stay in Indiana but still be able to study TESOL, which limited my options. However, when I learned that Ball State’s program offered a TESOL degree while still being able to take linguistic classes and I would have the ability to teach and work in writing centers, it perfectly aligned with my goals. So, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up!   

 What are your future goals/career goals?  

In the future, I hope to keep working with students in various capacities. I’m very passionate about writing center work and the overlap between my TESOL studies, translingualism, and composition studies, so I hope to work within writing centers in the future or continue teaching composition courses! Of course, I’d love to teach a plethora of other English-related classes, so I’m open to anything life throws my way. 

What is next for you after you graduate from Ball State?  

 I’m in the process of applying for jobs, but my hope is that I’ll be able to keep teaching at the university-level and/or be able to work with writing centers in some capacity.  

 Anything else you would like us to know?  

I want to extend my utmost gratitude to the instructors at Ball State University who have provided me with endless amounts of support, guidance, and encouragement throughout my studies and teaching experiences. To Dr. Mary Lou Vercellotti for helping me grow as a linguist and a student, to Dr. Kat Greene for being the best mentor and for being a model for me to shape my philosophies after, and to Dr. Jackie Grutsch-McKinney for encouraging me to pursue writing center work and entrusting me to work with the community writing centers, THANK YOU!